chasing light

at the beginning of the year, i chose
'be a light' for my word.
i wasn't really sure what that meant for my life until this moment.
i'm sure we all have heard that child song,
'this little light of mine, i'm gonna let it shine'
the phrase,
'hide it under a bushel. no!'
really has been speaking to me lately.
you see.  i have been hiding under a bushel for the most part of this year.
dealing with situations i never thought we would be dealing with.
i could feel the darkness all around me.
i couldn't see the light at the end,
or even around me.
i could only spend time
protecting what really mattered the most.
my marriage, my child, my relationship with God.
the rest just fell away.
i hid.
as i look back on my life, i have been chasing light.
it's light that comes with darkness that really has captivated my soul.
it demands my attention.
the sun breaking through fog.
the stars and the milky way on a moonless night.
the lightening during storms.
and the light after storms.
but i have come to realize that the light in me, the light of God, is the only light
i need.
and maybe what others need as well.
we have all been in a place of darkness, but if you let God in
and replace that darkness with His light,
you will shine.
you will become beautiful, captivating to others around you. 
and they will wonder what it is that you have.
they will want it as well.
and you can tell them.
this is what i have been working on lately.
i have packed most of my art supplies away but had to keep out my clay.

i call her oralee.  it means my light.
or more specificity lord is my light. 
i can't wait to finish her.
Everlasting Light - Shine BraceletEverlasting Light - Wooden Candlestick Holders, Set of 3
each piece spoke to me, but i love the bracelet.  it's something that i could wear
each and everyday to remind me.  that i have a light to shine.

 and please go here to read more about being a light.
such encouragement.
ephesians 5:8
for you were once darkness, but know you are the light in the Lord.
live as children of the light


building our home. and what i have learned...about myself

 this is what i have been up to for the last year.
(you can read a little background about it on my last post.)

as a daughter of a carpenter and a student of architecture and interior design,
i thought i was well prepared.
i was ready and i knew what to expect.
but as i look back i realized that what really has prepared me for
this adventure, for building our home, is being married to a farmer.

for the last 14 years i have watched him deal with breakdowns, set backs,
drought and floods.  crop prices crashing and wondering if we were going 
to be able to farm the next year.  wondering if he will be able to continue the work he enjoys and that which God has made him for.

and after being worn down dealing with all that, harvest time comes.
he can see the fruits of his labor.
but it's not enough to just sow the crops, water and nurture them.   he has to have the strength to bring them in.

 (our future kitchen)

 harvest time if the busiest time of the year.  it is made up of crazy hours, sacrifices, and faith.
we have seen God bless his work.  sometimes just enough to continue to farm the next year.  sometimes it is a feast.
but one thing i have never seen him do is throw in the towel.  give up.  never saying that it's not worth it.

 (dining room and looking into the living room)

this is embarrassing for my to say but through this adventure, i realized that i give up too easily.
too soon.
if something is harder that i first thought, i stop.  if it's taking too long, i give up.  if it isn't working out like i thought it should, i throw in the towel.  it's not worth the stress, the sacrifices, the hard work to see, whatever it is, to the end.  i not bring in the harvest of my work.  i had believed the lie that whatever God's will was for me, that it would be easy.

i cannot begin to tell you how many times i was ready to give up on this home.  the schedule just went haywire.  we have had many sacrifices, setbacks, emotions that ran wild.
we were beginning to wonder if we misunderstood God.  maybe this wasn't his will for us.  but we keep hearing... keep going.

i believe that it is not a coincidence that our home's final stage is starting just as harvest is starting.
not a coincidence at all.  we are exhausted.  both mentally and physically.  but we can't stop now.  we have to see it to the end.

(my art studio)

so may i offer up a little prayer.  that we will turn to God to give us strength to bring in our harvest.  whatever that may look like for you.  that will we not give up.  that we will be blessed by seeing it through to the end.  then the celebration can begin.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.